Volkolak - _Hail to the God of the Sun_
(Blazing Productions, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
This is the re-release of Volkalak's 2004 album, originally released on Othal Productions. No bonus tracks are included, but they do include a video of "The Feat of the Grey King", in addition to a thick and lusciously illustrated booklet. Pity that the layout was poorly thought out, as the combination of font, size and background colouring renders the lyrics near impossible to read.

Like many who have tread the pastoral or Pagan path before them, Volkolak have opted to create a folk album, eschewing the traditional metal guitars and drums in favour of an acoustic guitar and mandolin, backed by Pagan percussion and other folk instrumentation such as the horn and mouth harp. Volkolak appear to have retained their national socialist outlook, but if the slightly broken English translations (unsurprisingly, they sing entirely in their native Russian) are any indication, they avoid overt national socialist themes in favour of romantic nationalist themes.

There are many metal bands who have indulged in an acoustic outing, whether as a permanent shift of style, or simply as an interesting diversion before reverting to their meat-and-potatoes work. (Hel, Frostmoon Eclipse, Ulver all spring to mind.) The problem with this is that the new style is not given a chance to develop, resulting in a half-baked album. Even Ulver's _Kveldssanger_ pales in comparison to pastoral neofolk artists such as October Falls, and although I have no idea what the metal Volkalak sound like, I suspect that they have fallen into the same trap as the aforementioned. Although there are moments that any fan of atavistic folk will enjoy and it is an acceptable entrant to the metal-gone-folk pantheon, they cannot compete with the non-metal heathen folklorists.

Contact: http://www.blazing.ws

(article published 3/10/2007)

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